Bonus Projects


05.04.2018 15:26

Winners in BONUS RETURN innovation challenge selected

Innovative companies from Germany, Finland and The Netherlands have been successful in the competition. The three winners in the EU-funded BONUS RETURN innovation challenge are: Aquacare in the Netherlands, TerraNova in Germany, and Ravita in Finland.

They will receive pre-commercialization support the BONUS RETURN project. The competition gathered innovations from several European countries representing unique and sustainable solutions for reusing nutrients and/or carbon in the Baltic Sea Region.


The technologies below have been selected based on their ability to demonstrate a strong and innovative potential to prevent, extract and reuse phosphorous which would increase resilience and food security, as well as keeping the Baltic Sea healthy.

Joris Salden from AQUACARE, Netherlands.

Aquacare’s BiOPhree® technology is a method that enables the minimization or elimination of micro bio growth to avoid biofilm. The technology can recover phosphorous and convert it to a concentrated phosphorous containing liquid with the ability to be re-used as a fertilizer for agriculture. BiOPhree material is simple to engineer and after regeneration, reusable.


TerraNova Energy GmbH is a German-based company working with Innovative Sludge Treatment technology. The TerraNova® Ultra turns sewage sludge, a contaminated side product from waste water treatment, into climate friendly coal for energy production and clean Phosphorous fertilizer. The final product is sterilized with low water content and can be used as CO2-neutral fuel for energy production or for agricultural application.

Marc Buttmann from TERRANOVA ENERGY, Germany.


Finnish-based RAVITA provides an innovative process for nutrient recovery directly from the main wastewater stream. Phosphorus is post-precipitated in the very end of the water stream, and the chemical sludge formed precedes the main part of the RAVITA process. Chemical sludge is further processed by the dissolution and recovery steps. The formed end-product is phosphoric acid, which has high value both in fertilizer industry as well as other industrial segments.

Mari Heinonen from RAVITA, Finland.


All three innovations exceptionally fulfilled the requirements to win in the competition which included: addressing nutrient or carbon reuse from agricultural or waste water sectors or both; provide a technology applicable in the Baltic Sea environment; a technology that is a biological, physical, or chemical intervention designed to minimize harm to the environment and provide services of value to society; and a prototype Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 or higher. They all had a TRL level between 5 -7. 

BONUS RETURN will now provide business plans, perform additional tests, introduce their product to potential markets and clients, and help them to further develop a marketable product customized for Baltic municipalities.


The relevance of each application to the BONUS RETURN project was fundamental, as a major aim of the competition was to establish mutual benefit between the project and winning innovations. 

For more information and updates about the project, visit

Return to headlines